13 這時，微微起了南風，他們以為得意，就起了錨，貼近克里特行去。 14 不多幾時，狂風從島上撲下來；那風名叫友拉革羅。 15 船被風抓住，敵不住風，我們就任風颳去。 16 貼著一個小島的背風岸奔行，那島名叫高大，在那裡僅僅收住了小船。 17 既然把小船拉上來，就用纜索捆綁船底，又恐怕在賽耳底沙灘上擱了淺，就落下篷來，任船飄去。 18 我們被風浪逼得甚急，第二天眾人就把貨物拋在海裡。 19 到第三天，他們又親手把船上的器具拋棄了。 20 太陽和星辰多日不顯露，又有狂風大浪催逼，我們得救的指望就都絕了。 21 眾人多日沒有吃甚麼，保羅就出來站在他們中間，說：眾位，你們本該聽我的話，不離開克里特，免得遭這樣的傷損破壞。 22 現在我還勸你們放心，你們的性命一個也不失喪，惟獨失喪這船。 23 因我所屬所事奉的神，他的使者昨夜站在我旁邊，說： 24 保羅，不要害怕，你必定站在凱撒面前，並且與你同船的人，神都賜給你了。 25 所以眾位可以放心，我信神他怎樣對我說：事情也要怎樣成就。 26 只是我們必要撞在一個島上。
13When a gentle south wind began to blow, they thought they had obtained what they wanted; so they weighed anchor and sailed along the shore of Crete. 14Before very long, a wind of hurricane force, called the "northeaster," swept down from the island. 15The ship was caught by the storm and could not head into the wind; so we gave way to it and were driven along. 16As we passed to the lee of a small island called Cauda, we were hardly able to make the lifeboat secure. 17When the men had hoisted it aboard, they passed ropes under the ship itself to hold it together. Fearing that they would run aground on the sandbars of Syrtis, they lowered the sea anchor and let the ship be driven along. 18We took such a violent battering from the storm that the next day they began to throw the cargo overboard. 19On the third day, they threw the ship's tackle overboard with their own hands. 20When neither sun nor stars appeared for many days and the storm continued raging, we finally gave up all hope of being saved. 21After the men had gone a long time without food, Paul stood up before them and said: "Men, you should have taken my advice not to sail from Crete; then you would have spared yourselves this damage and loss. 22But now I urge you to keep up your courage, because not one of you will be lost; only the ship will be destroyed. 23Last night an angel of the God whose I am and whom I serve stood beside me 24and said, 'Do not be afraid, Paul. You must stand trial before Caesar; and God has graciously given you the lives of all who sail with you.' 25So keep up your courage, men, for I have faith in God that it will happen just as he told me. 26Nevertheless, we must run aground on some island."
- In spite of the terrible conditions, Paul spoke hopefully that an angel of God had appeared to him in the night and assured him that he would arrive in Rome and stand trial before Caesar; and all who were with him would get there, too. He said, “Don’t give up… take heart” (the Message vv24-25). God would strip them of what had obscured their awareness of him – the ship, the job, and the mad rush to Rome. But their lives would be preserved.
- God is also out to get us. Everything we consider a loss can be a chance to discover God at the center, to realize the preciousness of life itself, of love unencumbered by lust and pride and greed. The Voice keeps arriving in the midst of terror, disaster and hopelessness: “Don’t give up… take heart.”
- Tell God my fear and helplessness. Find God in the midst of my problem and His presence. Listen to Him telling me: “Don’t give up… take heart.”
Prayer & Journaling:
Stay with God for a little longer. Continue to converse with God and listen to what he wants to tell me. Then write down any thought and/or prayer in the 2011 “Spiritual Journal” book.
Family Time (Begin this time by reading the passage above using a children’s Bible.)
Talk about one incident when anyone or the whole family was on a boat. Remember another time when Jesus was on a boat? What happened? Sing: “With Christ in the vessel I can smile at the storm”. Thank God for His protection in dangerous situations.